Since giving birth to corporate parent Alphabet, Google has been trying to grow up and act like a really serious business instead of a very successful advertising company that dabbles in technology.

In its latest strategy switch, it's introducing a pair of super-slick smartphones that will go head-to-head -- and maybe then some -- against Apple's iPhone and the svelte but troubled Samsung Galaxy Note7.

The new Pixel phones come in two sizes, sort of like the iPhone. There's the Pixel and the Pixel XL, the first phones to be conceptualized, designed, engineered, and tested in-house. Google markets Nexus brand phones but they are manufactured by someone else and have been regarded as a toe in the water rather than a full-out marketing attempt.

The Pixel line -- not to be confused with the top-end Chromebooks of the same name -- featured a Siri-like virtual assistant and are said to have the best camera ever built into a smartphone.

The phones start at $649 and $769 -- or $27.08 and $32.08 a month when purchased through Verizon. They can be preordered online.  
The phones feature thin aluminum and glass frames that come in black, silver, or blue (a limited edition for the U.S.). The smaller model, which starts at $649 for 32-gigabytes of storage, features a 5-inch screen, while the bigger model, priced at $769, has a 5.5-inch screen to match the iPhone 7 Plus.

The Pixels will be the first to run on Android’s new Nougat 7.1 operating system.

Author : James R. Hood
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